Olympia, WA – January 2012 Real Estate Market Update

January 2012 Real Estate Market Update for Olympia, WA

The good news about the real estate market in Olympia, WA and in Thurston County overall is our active inventory is at a 6-year low with about 1,270 homes for sale.  This means there is more competition amongst buyers.  In comparison, a hot seller’s market yielded less than 750 homes for sale.  

Inventory in Thurston County 

Another bit of good news is the absorption rate is at a 5-year low.  If all the listings in the market sold, it would take 5.7 months to sell all of them.  Historically, our market is considered a balanced market when the absorption rate is between 4-6 months.

Absorption Rate in Thurston County 

The average sales price for Thurston County is at $233,086 (this is down 5.9% from last year), but for the last six months, the average sales price has remained flat.  This could be an indicator that this area has “hit bottom” as far as this is the lowest home prices will be and that a slight uptick in home prices are to come.  This is a bold prediction however with several months of positive job growth, it boosts consumer confidence and potential buyers are becoming home owners.

Average sales price in Thurston County 

Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers for 2011

From a survey from the National Association of Realtors®, here are some interesting trends found in 2011.


  • First-time buyers were only 37% of the market compared to 50% from 2010.
  • Investors are increasing their inventory.  1 in 10 buyers in 2011 was 45 years old and older and owned at least one investment property.
  • 26% of buyers aged 65+ own a second home.
  • Sellers are living in their homes longer.  In 2011, the average seller had been in their home for 9 years as opposed to 6 years in 2007.
  • In 2011, the primary reason for purchasing a home was affordability.


About Olympia, WA

Olympia is Washington State’s capitol city, and is located in Western Washington at the southern point of Puget Sound.  One of the best features of living in Olympia is its centric location to the Pacific Ocean, two metropolis cities (Seattle & Portland, Oregon), and the Olympic and Cascade Mountain ranges, which include the Olympic Rain Forest, Mt. Rainier, and Mt. St. Helens. 


Outdoor activities in Olympia WAThe Olympia-Tumwater-Lacey cities of Thurston County offer a rich diversity of outdoor activities from hiking to kayaking to bicycling; a vibrant arts and entertainment scene with world-renown productions visiting the Washington Center for the Performing Arts; a waterfront lifestyle from tug boat races to pier fishing;lots of choices for “retail therapy,” including many independent shops as well as the national chains;

And so much more. 


(All data compiled from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.  Data is deemed accurate but not guaranteed.)


Interested in living in Olympia, WA or other cities in Thurston County?  Call me today to find your next home.  In the meantime, visit my website to check out the current homes for sale in Olympia, WA.

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